Posture can be related to chronic pain, chronic disease, make you look, and feel old.
The Journal of American Geriatric Society published a study that found, “Older men and woman with a hyperkyphotic posture have higher mortality rates.” So what does this mean? Having bad posture increases your risk of death by almost 1.5 times. This research found that the increased death rate was due to atherosclerosis.
Poor posture leads to extra wear and tear on your joints and ligaments, tension headaches, breathing issues, chronic low back, shoulder, neck, and/or wrist pain.
So what leads to poor posture? Well, you use 640 muscles to balance! If you have a weakness or imbalance it may affect your posture. If you have ever injured yourself and did not properly rehab this could lead to an altered gait pattern. Essentially that old injury could be affecting your posture today!
Do you have “text neck?” or “tech neck?” This type of posture affects many many individuals. We are such a technology-driven society that it is creating poor posture habits.
This picture is a great visual to show how heavy your head becomes when you increase the angle. Do you see why you might have neck pain now?
For every inch forward your head moves it increases the weight of your head by 10 pounds! It is important to be mindful of how our posture is when using our phones, tablets, and even computers. This can help prevent future problems/pain!
What happens to our muscles if we do not take breaks to stretch/strengthen our posture?
This picture shows which muscles become weak and which muscles tighten. This imbalance creates joint dysfunction at the base of the skull, down the neck, into the upper back, and shoulders. “Tech Neck” causes imbalances that affect your entire musculoskeletal system.
According to the CDC low back pain was the most common pain complaint reported by patients in 2010. In the US 6 million people are dealing with chronic back pain. Opioids have been shown to only be effective for 2 weeks when treating low back pain. 89% of Primary Care Physicians consider biomechanical risk factors like posture to be the single most important short-term trigger for sudden onset of low back pain, AKA your posture!
Sitting for more than 12 hours a day puts you at greater risk for diabetes, heart disease, life-threatening falls, respiratory problems, and cardiopulmonary problems.
Here are three exercises you can implement to start strengthening your posture.
- Stork- 1 minute a day can help with strength and postural balance
- Ball circles- this is great to strengthen your core! You want to make sure your upper body and knees remain still. Only move your pelvis in small circles
- Bruegger’s- this one can be performed sitting, standing, with or without a theraband. Hold for 3 seconds, come back to starting and repeat for 2 minutes.
It is important to move/stretch every hour! Studies have shown that sitting motionless reduces blood flow to the legs, increases the risk for atherosclerosis (the buildup of plaques in the arteries). Standing up and walking around for five minutes every hour during the workday could lift your mood, combat lethargy without reducing focus and attention. Frequent brief walking breaks are more effective than a single long walk before work. Sitting for more than eight hours places you at a greater risk factor for diabetes, depress, and obesity.
Your goal should be to get up and move every 30 minutes for at least 5 minutes. Set a timer to remind you throughout your day. You can stretch, strengthen, walk, or complete a 4-minute nitric oxide dump! The nitric oxide dump was created by Dr. Zach Bush. Nitric oxide dilates the blood vessels, reduces blood pressure, improves immune function, decreases the viscosity of blood (stickiness and platelet aggregation), increases lean muscle mass and it only takes 4 minutes. You try to complete it 2-3 times a day. Click Here to learn how to perform the Nitric Oxide Dump!
Getting adjusted is an important factor in strengthening your posture. Adjustments help reduce inflammation, boost the immune system, enhance pulmonary function, decrease mental and oxidative stress, relieves muscle tension, and can naturally increase energy levels. We can also evaluate your posture and give specific rehab exercises tailored to you.
Losing 1 inch in height makes you 1.45 times more at risk of dying. Regular chiropractic visits and strengthening your posture, especially the core and the muscles along the spine can help prevent a loss in height.
I like to think about posture like a savings account. Most people would agree that having a savings account is a great investment in your future. If we all had the money we would deposit into that account daily. Your posture is a savings account. You can deposit a little bit into it each day and live a vibrant life, healthy life! Invest in your posture each day and maybe when you are 98 you will be skiing like this man!